Footprints on the Sand

I woke up early and sat on the porch for a while, looking at the sea and the islands in the distance.
After Roni woke up we went up the steep paths that led out of the beach and towards the town in the center of the island. We walked on the main street that was just waking up until we found someplace open, and had noodles soup with pork and barbecued shrimps with black pepper and garlic, and then kept strolling.
There was a big yard with elephants, standing there as an attraction for tourists. We stopped to pet them, carefully. The youngest one approached us, his curious trunk sniffing and winding.
Even though elephants always look like they have a smile on their faces, I was worried they might be being abused.


We walked inside a supermarket and bought coffee and tea for the room, and some snacks and beers for the evening when everything around is closed.
One of my favorite things abroad is looking at grocery stores.
I loved seeing the old Thai women get there in the mornings to by dried leaves and spices, soups in vacuum-sealed plastic bags, mysterious cans.
In Thailand, there is a supermarket chain with a cartoon bear as its logo, and they give you stamps with funny pictures after you pay.

We spent the afternoon on the beach, in the chill water.
Only when we got hungry again we went back to the town, and found a sweet restaurant that was run by a big family. The women cooked in the open kitchen, the youngsters served, and a bellied father sat by the entrance and managed the money.
We had Pad-Thai with shrimps, curry with pork and white rice.
As the teenage server took our reservation, I peeked at what he wrote, the strange handwritten language that seemed to me like alien’s writing.


For dessert, we bought coconut from a booth, where a tiny woman sat. She violently cracked opened the coco with a huge machete that she held in her gentle hands.
We took it back to the beach, where we sat on the swing that was tied to a tree by the water.
The tide was high, and the water washed the crab’s footprints away.
It reminded me that I once read the animal’s footprints on the sand inspired mankind to invent handwriting.


We had coffee on the porch and watched the sunset.
The elephants we saw earlier were on the beach with their caretaker, the young ones playing in the water. They looked happy, which made me think that maybe they are treated well.


In the evening, the town was more bustling than in the afternoon. Families of locals and tourists sat at the same restaurant we had lunch at, that in the evenings turned on the BBQ and served fresh fish and seafood. A ten years old kid worked the grilled skilfully.
Full from the delicious meal, we strolled around. Most shops and businesses were basically a room in the family’s house. The toddlers were playing or napping on hammocks, and small pets ran around. One family with a clothing shop had a weasel.

We finished the day with beers on the porch.


It rained that night, and in the morning everything was still wet and dripping. We took a slow walk on the beach until we found a small place for breakfast, where we had shrimps with ginger.
Afterward, we had iced coffee and stretched on hammocks that were hanged there under a shed. It still rained a little, and a stray dog joined us and looked at the rain until it cleared.

I looked a lot at the few tourists that were there.
An Austrian or German family stayed at the hotel with us, and they had a tiny fluffy dog with a bell tied to its collar. They took walks on the beach and the father was struggling behind, wiping his sweaty forehead often and taking pictures.
There was another hippie French family that spent most of their time kayaking with beer.
There were also some Chinese and Japanese tourists.
Most of the time, the beaches were nearly empty.
The silence felt magical.

The sunset was red and sprout out from the blue clouds, and I thought that just a few weeks ago I was still at my old job, in my old life.
In the evening we went to a cocktail bar. The place was under the skies and open to the street, and a small cat walked around everybody’s feet.


A thunderstorm woke us up at 4 AM.
The island felt enchanted, with the stormy nights and the grey skies in the mornings. The silence, The grey sand, the cold ocean.
I’ve felt like I have no roots, I have no home.

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